Barefoot Shoe Brands

I’m always searching for that best barefoot running shoe that will meet my forefoot running needs. Sadly, many athletic footwear brands do not offer an assortment of barefoot shoes, this is the challenge because we need a barefoot-like running shoe as a forefoot strike enhancer.  So, what are the best barefoot shoe brands out there so far?

Barefoot Shoe Brands
Sockwa is one of my favorite barefoot shoe brands! Most of their shoes are super-light and conform perfectly to your foot’s anatomy.

Sadly, there are only a few barefoot shoe brands that manufacture barefoot inspired shoes that not only prepare your feet for forefoot running, but improve your forefoot running technique, also.

Minimalist Barefoot Shoe Brands
It is really possible to run almost as if you are barefoot. Thats why I also love the Vibram Fivefingers because they are incredibly light, flexible, and allow exceptional toe splay.

Many shoe brands, particularly nike, offer only a small selection of barefoot shoes, whereas other shoe brands, such as Vibram and Terra Plana exclusively make barefoot shoes. Nonetheless, here are the best barefoot shoe brands for forefoot strike runners:

Barefoot Shoe Brands

Vibram Five Fingers – Vibram makes running shoes that are more barefoot-friendly because the shoe actually looks like the human foot. The individual toe sockets aids in toe spreading, giving you better balance control and toe flexion, which leads to greater strength gains in the foot. They have so many shoe variations to choose from, too.

Vivobarefoot (Terra Plana) – Vivobarefoot’s running shoes feel and fit just like the Vibram FiveFingers, minus the individual toe sockets. They are known for having a wide toe-box and a stylish design in that they not only look great for running, but for causal wear also.

Xero Shoes – When it’s summer time, you don’t want your feet cookin’ in shoes. This is why I love Xero Shoes because they are minimalist running sandals that allow great sensory play for the feet.

Skora – Want a more warmer barefoot running shoe for the winter? Skora makes most of their shoes with the upper made of goat leather, which is very thermal for the feet. Skora’s are always wide, having a D-width toe box. Most of their shoes are aslo made with a thicker outsole that is incredibly, so they would be great for endurance runs.

Merrell – Merrell only makes one decent barefoot running shoe and that is the Vapor Glove, which is a good start to joining the minimalist bandwangon. The Vapor glove is a mix between the feel of the Vibram FiveFingers with the wideness of Vivobarefoot

Invo-8 – Inov-8 makes flat, sleek minimalist shoes with a little more padding than the Vivobarefoot. Their shoes are especially great for cross-training, such as box jumps, and are really good for obstacle course races.

If you are looking for the perfect barefoot shoe for forefoot running, check out my barefoot shoe reviews, to help you choose the best shoe.

More From Run Forefoot:

Bretta Riches

Bretta Riches

"I believe the forefoot strike is the engine of endurance running..."

BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.
Bretta Riches


  1. I run a lot of intervals on a treadmill which I have set to 1 degree incline. I’m wondering about whether an incline is advisable. Also, my gym where the treadmill is won’t allow barefoot running so I wear minimalist shoes such as the Asics Piranha, New Balance MRC5000 or a similar racing flat. I get lots of leg muscle soreness but I think I’m adapting. BTW, I’m 72 years old and have been running for 58 years. Thanks for your great videos and website.

  2. Just found this blog good stuff iv been using vibramw ane vivios for 7 years now all the time not just for running. Thanks for your tips and list of minimal footware. Im always on the hunt for the perfect shoes.

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